Jordan is covered with Gum trees – EUCALYPTUS trees. This blog provides some info on how come they are here, clearly they like it here. There is one in the grounds of the River Jordan Foundation which is at least 80 years old.
One Internet source (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/A+tree+pilgrimage+in+Israel-a0159285784) indicates that in 1884 the Mikveh Yisrael Agricultural School planned some, which indeed came from Australia and this began the process of swap clearing, which did not fully become complete until the period 1951 to 1958. Hula Lake near the sea of Gallee was a source of malaria and the draining was used to help eradicate the disease. During the British manate era gum trees were planted in other areas to drain swamps – the period is unclear but maybe from as early as the mid 1800s to the early part of last century at least.
The mandate would have included the now area of Jordan. The house used for the River Jordan Fountation dates from about 1936 and was used by the British Army and then went through a series of owners and was used for various purposes – all this time I would surmise the gum tree kept it shaded!
Further north gums were planted to help restore the famous ruins of Aanjar, sometime after Lebanon gained independence in 1943.
Interestingly there is a more modern connection via bee keeping! Jordan and Australia maintain what seems to be a close collaboration and Eucalyptus tree provide viable alternate pollen sources. And, the trees are used for the same purpose in nearby Israel.
There is a lot more, but you’ll have to wait for the book: ‘History of Eucalyptus trees in Jordan and the bee’ – should be a fun read, and remember without bees we would be no place!